The shortage of housing supply in the GTA and Vancouver is getting more and more attention as prices continue to climb.
Recent articles in the Toronto Star and Huffington Post explore how housing demand is outpacing supply and suggest that restrictive land-use policies and community opposition to development are main drivers of the problem.
The Toronto Star article explains that while demand is strong in major Canadian markets like Toronto and Vancouver, “strict land-use rules and lobbying by existing homeowners” have limited the amount of new projects coming to market. The article states that the amount of new low-rise homes built last year in Toronto was the lowest since 1995. It referenced cities like London and San Francisco as examples of places where house prices have soared beyond the reach of residents, citing the common thread to be curbs on the availability of land for building.
The Huffington Post identified the Greenbelt as one of several policies restricting the supply of new homes in the GTA. Other issues referenced in the article include outdated zoning bylaws at the municipal level and tighter mortgage rules at the federal level.
Both articles quote experts who say constrained housing supply can have detrimental economic effects on Canada’s largest cities, and that addressing this issue will not only improve housing affordability, but also benefit job creation and economic growth.
BILD has long pointed to housing supply as a key contributor to declining affordability and choice of new homes in the GTA. As our region continues to grow by up to 100,000 people every year, it is critical that we build enough new homes to accommodate our growing population.